Marist captain Jacob O'Connell produced a startling century on Saturday as he led his team to a comprehensive four-wicket win over Albion, which has breathed life into their 2013-14 Southland club cricket one-day competition campaign.
Marist went into week one of the second round of the one-day competition knowing they needed to win most of their final six games to give themselves any chance of pushing for a semifinals spot.
On Saturday they ticked the first box with plenty of purpose as they fended off albion at Miller Street in Invercargill.
Batting first, Albion posted a very competitive 231 from their 50 overs with Ryan Rusk (72) and Steve Waddell (71) providing the backbone of the innings.
The pair put on 120 for the fourth wicket while for Marist it was the return of Glen Frew that provided the highlight with the ball.
The former Otago age-group representative and Southland Hawke Cup player returned to help his Marist club and took four for 28 while the inform Josh Fitzgibbon also chipped in with three wickets.
In Marist's reply it was the O'Connell show as he took on what was expected to be a difficult chase, and got his team home with plenty to spare.
He racked up 126 to provide most of the damage in the chase, however, Jeremy Boyle's contribution was also an important one.
Boyle was unbeaten on 46 and put on 130 for the fourth wicket with O'Connell to steady the ship after losing some early wickets.
Marist grabbed the win with 10.2 overs and four wickets to spare.
The Metro Tigers grabbed a comfortable 103-run win in the top-of-the-table clash against Invercargill-Old Boys at Metro on Saturday and it was on the back of a strong batting event.
Invercargill-Old Boys won the toss and elected to have a bowl and the Metro batsmen had an immediate impact.
They sent usual lower-order batsman and new-ball bowler Nick Cantwell up the order to open the batting and it paid off as he and Matt Burgess (18) put on 77 for the first wicket before Burgess went in the 17th over.
Cantwell continued on with his impressive hitting display, striking 12 fours in his knock of 68 before he departed with the score on 133 as he had teamed up with Karl McKee (48) for a 56-run second-wicket stand.
Mitchell van Schaik then provided the backbone of the remainder of the Metro innings as he impressed in his 75* as he worked the field well.
He also had support from Jason Osborne (23) and Callyn Lindsay (36*) as the home side got through to 296 for four from its 50 overs.
Needing close to a run a ball Invercargill-Old Boys were always going to be positive in their chase, and James Wadworth (26), Jamie May (35) and Lewis Risk (49) did get their team off to a good start and put the Metro bowlers under pressure.
However, teeanger Jared Simpson was thrown the ball by his captain and with his first two balls of the match picked up May, who was in dangerous touch, and then the in-form Sam McLauchlan first ball.
Invercargill-Old Boys continued to with the positive approach but were eventually bowled out for 193 with 9.1 overs that were not used.
The Appleby Rams also banked an impressive high-scoring win on Saturday over Southland Boys' High School.
Batting first, Appleby piled on 299 for eight in their 50 overs with Rick Harding setting the tone at the top with his 70 from only 61 balls.
Harding and Bibhas Bibwas put on 73 for the first wicket before the introduction of spinner slowed Appleby down just a little.
He grabbed the wickets of both Harding and Bibwas, and his 10 overs for just 39 runs in the context of the game was impressive.
However, the Appleby middle-order never let up as Jono Allen (20), Calum Johnstone (47), Clinton Goad (43) and Tim Eade (36*) propelled them to that 299-8 figure.
In reply, the pupils lost McWilliam, Piet Grandiek and Nick McCullum before they had got to 50, but the likes of James Ng (36) and Kaleb Geary (43) did to their credit give the Southland Boys' High School innings some substance.
While their 213 was 86 runs short of victory, it is still yet another positive step forward for the school team in their batting development.
- The Southland Times